The Role of Healthcare Administrators in Public Health

With widening health disparities across the country, healthcare administrators face new challenges, particularly regarding educating the public about health and wellness. The focus of the public health conversation is shifting primarily to social determinants of health and proactive models for diet and exercise to increase wellness across all communities. Healthcare administrators regularly collaborate with nurses, doctors and technicians to make wide-ranging decisions for a healthcare organization or facility. Healthcare administration is a non-physician field that deals with the organizational, financial and employment facets of healthcare.

An online Master of Business Administration – Healthcare Administration Emphasis from Southern Utah University (SUU) teaches students how to lead and manage employees within a healthcare setting. This degree program emphasizes competencies and management principles that apply to today’s complex healthcare system.

How the Role of a Healthcare Administrator Has Changed Over the Years

A healthcare administrator has always been a vital part of a healthcare facility’s employee management and overall business plan. They shape the policies that can improve a patient’s experience and ensure the facility runs smoothly. Healthcare administrators don’t just work in hospitals; they also work in nursing homes, physical therapy organizations, clinics and surgery centers. Traditionally, they develop work schedules, improve efficiency, manage finances, train staff, monitor spending and budgets, communicate with nurses and physicians, as well as confirm the facility complies with all medical regulations and laws. The role of a healthcare administrator can vary according to the location and size of the facility and may change over time. Some administrators may direct an entire organization, while others supervise a single department. Flexibility within the position is beneficial, as has been seen since the COVID-19 pandemic changed the face of healthcare.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the employment outlook for medical and healthcare services management will increase by 32% through 2030. That’s significant growth over the average 7.7% increase for all other occupations. Although healthcare administrator jobs are in high demand, the role has changed since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic has altered how the healthcare system works and the role of the healthcare administrator. Additional responsibilities include incorporating telehealth options, easing staff shortages and mitigating COVID-19-related financial issues. Healthcare administrator jobs now have aspects of a public health administrator by prioritizing infection prevention and control (IPC) to protect patients and staff. Optimizing health and worker safety by focusing on health promotion and disease prevention can improve the lives of patients, staff and the community.

How an MBA in Healthcare Administration Can Help

Students in this online degree program will study a curriculum that includes key foundational business and healthcare concepts such as policy, finance, business, law and ethics. By examining the organization of healthcare and policy, interrelated changes in healthcare administration and the ways successful leaders adapt to and challenge public policy, students will experience project-based learning. An integrated capstone project will focus on applying foundational MBA studies to develop strategic solutions to management challenges in any healthcare organization. Top schools like Southern Utah University notice the current trends involving healthcare management and emphasize the essential qualities that can help graduates use both business and healthcare administrator skills to effectively manage and lead a healthcare facility. Students will learn operational design and behavior through implementing current events in healthcare organizations, develop an in-depth understanding of the management and organizational processes within the healthcare industry and improve complex and interpersonal skills to become effective administrators in today’s business environment.

Learn more about Southern Utah University’s online Master of Business Administration – Healthcare Administration Emphasis program.

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